Iraqis Prefer Technocrats
Al-Zaman reports a poll indicating that most Iraqis prefer technocrats (engineers, physicians, scientists, etc.) as their leaders, and show much less trust in traditional politicians or Muslim clergymen. There seemed to be a widespread feeling that there were no traditional politicians in Iraq that were up to the job (i.e. knew politics but were untainted by association with the Baath regime). The approval rating of Ibrahim Jaafari, a member of the Interim Governing Council representing the Shiite al-Da`wa Party, which is largely led by technocrats even though it is a religious party, was 52.4 percent. On the other hand, Ayatollah Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, leader of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq and also a member of the IGC, has an even better approval rating of 57.7 percent. In contrast, the favorite of the Pentagon and the neocons, corrupt financier Ahmad Chalabi, was only approved of by about one fourth of respondents, even though he was promoted onto the IGC by the Americans and even served as president for a month. The high approval ratings for al-Hakim somewhat contradict the general findings reported by al-Zaman, of preference for technocrats. And if Jaafari is the kind of technocrat people are thinking about (he is a physician), then Iraqis may actually want an Islamic government led by technocrats along with a few clergymen.